The heroic commoner, Oliver Cromwell (Richard Harris), wages battle single-handedly against King Charles I and gains control of the British monarchy in this historical epic set in 17th century England. Academy Award Nominations: Best Score. Academy Awards: Best Costume Design.
CROMWELL is an epic retelling of one of England's most bloody internal conflicts, a civil war that pitted the Puritan middle class against the decadent aristocracy. At the heart of this strife was the personal discord between Oliver Cromwell, a landed squire who reluctantly took up arms in the name of faith, and King Charles I -- the British monarch who was appalled by the concept of sharing power with a Parliament. Cromwell's meteoric rise to power was due to his military genius. He took the untrained Parliamentarian rebels and turned them into an efficient fighting machine by promoting officers from within the ranks, based on earned merit. And when this "New Model Army" faced off with the Royalists -- whose officers were appointed according to social status -- the King's forces were crushed, and the monarch arrested, tried for treason, and beheaded.
Big Battles |
Period Piece |
Produced by Irving Allen Productions.
Color by Technicolor. Shot in Panavision at Shepperton Studios, England.
Battle sequences were shot on location in Spain, using the Spanish army as extras.
Writer director Ken Hughes had been trying to make a film based on the life of Oliver Cromwell for 10 years prior to the production of "Cromwell." However, no British producers were interested in this project. It took American producer Irving Allen, with the backing of Columbia Pictures, to make this film possible.
Alec Guinness's King Charles I is directly modeled on painter Van Dyke's portrait of the monarch.